The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Jn 10:10

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These are the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John.  They are cornerstone words – critical to living a life, and to our well-being.

” … that you may have life and have it abundantly …”

Have you ever thought of what these words tell you?  Have you ever thought what truth they contain?  The depth of that truth?

These are not mere platitude, not a trite remark.  Rather, they speak to our wholeness as human beings.  They speak to our full and healthy human development, and to God’s economy – how God functions in our life and in human existence, and in the universe since the beginning of time.

In this autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections psychotherapist Carl Jung, M.D., says:

Man’s task is … to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious … his destiny … is to create more and more consciousness.  As far as we can discern, the purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Life abundant.  Jung describes what Jesus refers to as a union of our conscious state with our unconscious state. This is for Jung a union of opposites, a way to wholeness, reconciliation, health, understanding, peace and contentment. It is for Jung a union of what we know and what resides within to be known.

Jung goes on to say in his autobiography as to the unification of opposites (what is known and to be known) that the incarnation of God can be understood as union of God and man and a motif for the full development of the human person, for the unification of what is known and what is to be known – carried within to be known in our lifetime.

Jung’s words give depth to what Jesus is saying as to an abundant life.  The point being: that we are made be an assembled whole, to know God, to be linked as human with the Divine, to be joined – man with God, to become less a mystery to ourselves by realizing we are secure and contained in the Mystery of God.

Simply said: the union of God and man shown in the incarnation brings light from darkness.  Light literally arises from darkness.  What is obscure to man is understood and sight is gained, two become One.

What does this mean?

God assembles the whole person and gives us Christ to show us this.  God makes good from error in doing so.   Indeed, God lifts us out of error so that even error might be a way to Him, to wholeness, to the union of the human person with the Divine Creator.  Good from error: union of opposites.  Light from darkness.

I offer a typical way one might see this.

Let’s say a person finds himself or herself in an adulterous relationship.  Yes, a mistake for sure – but when the event ends that person discovers the origin in them of that conduct.

That origin may be a history of not knowing their worth, their value and their place in intimacy.  Or maybe that conduct stems from child sexual abuse, or a cold and emotionally unavailable set of parents.

Strange as it is, the error may clarify one’s past, one’s deficits and lead to self-understanding and growth.

The point is not to say: the conduct was justified, but rather that the conduct was manifest by an injury or deficit and identified an injury that required attention. Out of error, growth and good can emerge.  God uses all things to lead us to Him and to wholeness, to abundant life.

Many a person has learned of abundance through error which clarifies and corrects.

There is truth in what Jesus says.  God desires our wholeness and Jesus presents this to us in word and deed.  Jung sees this and in his own profession and its language he tells us of it.

You need not fear mistake.  Hasten to hear the words of Jesus – you are called to wholeness, to kindle light from darkness.  Abundant life awaits you.  It comes, often, out of error – for out of error: wholeness.

Shalom.

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